"Richard Leakey, professor of Anthropology at Stony Brook University in New York is best known for his paleontological work in Africa. His lecture, entitled Climate Change and the Future of Life on Earth deals with wildlife conservation and was recorded at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto on May 30th, 2009."Thanks to TVO's Big Ideas series, you can watch the video (embedded version below) or listen to an MP3 recording of the lecture.
Mp3 File (11.2 MB):
We went to this lecture on May 30, and it was very sobering. Leaky says that Climate change poses a dire threat to both human life and wildlife in the tropics and hot arid regions. Many animal species world-wide will go extinct, especially if we do not plan for ways to save them. Worse yet, Leaky now says that losing 50-60% of species could lead to a tipping point where more and more food chains are broken, and you have a "complete collapse of life". While he says that it is "unlikely" that humans would go extinct in the process, thanks to our technology, he does not rule it out explicitly. (Listen around 12:15 to 14:00 minutes:seconds.)
Surviving in a techno-bubble on a lifeless planet -- our children and grandchildren deserve much better. Yet this is what we risk leaving for them unless we act now.
(Episode page on TVO: http://www.tvo.org/TVOsites/WebObjects/TvoMicrosite.woa?bi?1256418000000
Originally aired October 24, 2009 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time.)